How do theists explain races?
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24-09-2010, 02:41 PM
 
RE: How do theists explain races?
Quote:Things like that don't happen anymore

Agreed. And I am so thankful for it!

Quote:and nowadays, you'd think God would be a hell of a lot more pissed off at society (acceptance of secularism) than during the Babylonian era

Slightly agree. There are a lot more people in the world now so there is a lot more sin quantity-wise, but I think the world has pretty much always been backwards throughout its existence (let's say from recorded civilized history onward to avoid any "age of the earth" debates)

Quote:Of course, your response is that we can't understand how God works

I never said that. We can understand through what he has revealed to us (if you believe he is the creator, and believe the bible is his word, and believe that Jesus is the Son of God). That doesn't mean there won't be parts I personally don't understand.

Quote:and then we can't really have a discussion at all.
I agree it is looking that way since we are looking through different "interpretation lenses". But I guess that's only a problem if I am trying to convert you to a believer (I am not and have never stated that intention to you or anyone else here) or you are trying to convert me to an atheist. Otherwise, I just want to make sure you understand my belief because I want you to be very clear on what you are diagreeing with.

Quote:And you mentioned that you accepted adaptations to the environment can change an organism. Do you not then see how this over time can lead to the phenomena of evolution?
I am not a scientist or any kind of expert on the theory of evolution. But that is absolutely NOT what I said and I think you should retract your statement. I said that people in warmer climates developed more melanin than people living in cooler climates. These people did not evolve. They all had melanin in the first place. But because of the environment they were living in, their bodies used more or less of it in order to survive. I do not need to believe in evolution to believe in survival of the fittest.
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24-09-2010, 04:04 PM
 
RE: How do theists explain races?
But survival of the fittest is the mechanism that produces evolution. I don't think you can have one without the other.

If only the fittest members of a population survive, then it is only that gene pool that survives. It has been "selected" for. If a new condition arises, then variations suited to that new condition will survive more than variations that are not well suited. So now, you have a changing gene pool and a changing population. Give it enough time and a sufficient change in the conditions of the environment (which 100,000 years or so of human existence have not produced nor necessitated) and you have drastically different organisms. Is this not evolution? I'm sure there are biologists on the forum who can correct me if I am wrong.
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24-09-2010, 05:46 PM
 
RE: How do theists explain races?
(24-09-2010 04:04 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  But survival of the fittest is the mechanism that produces evolution. I don't think you can have one without the other.

If only the fittest members of a population survive, then it is only that gene pool that survives. It has been "selected" for. If a new condition arises, then variations suited to that new condition will survive more than variations that are not well suited. So now, you have a changing gene pool and a changing population. Give it enough time and a sufficient change in the conditions of the environment (which 100,000 years or so of human existence have not produced nor necessitated) and you have drastically different organisms. Is this not evolution? I'm sure there are biologists on the forum who can correct me if I am wrong.

We may both be saying the same thing here, but I believe that the genetic information is already there (in the animal) and thus available to be "selected". I do not believe that new genetic information is created based on the environment or elapsed time, and do not believe that one "kind" of animal (e.g.: dog) can evolve into another "kind" (e.g.: cat).
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24-09-2010, 06:30 PM
 
RE: How do theists explain races?
I believe what you are referring to is not survival of the fittest then, and instead is just the activation of dormant genes.

And may I direct you to this article-

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14...e-lab.html
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24-09-2010, 06:49 PM
RE: How do theists explain races?
(24-09-2010 05:46 PM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  We may both be saying the same thing here, but I believe that the genetic information is already there (in the animal) and thus available to be "selected". I do not believe that new genetic information is created based on the environment or elapsed time, and do not believe that one "kind" of animal (e.g.: dog) can evolve into another "kind" (e.g.: cat).

The genetic material is all there, already. Changes do not occur by adding or subtracting DNA material. Changes occur with the genes that switches that turn on and off the genes that do the protien building. By changing the timing of the switching on and off of genes, an asyounding diversity of life can be created. For a more complete and better explained version of this, watch "What Darwin Never Knew," which is one of the Nova series of television documentary shows.

A dog cannot evolve into a cat because their evolutionary paths are going in different directions. That is why they split in different directions from a common ancestor in the first place.
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24-09-2010, 11:24 PM
RE: How do theists explain races?
(24-09-2010 05:46 PM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  I do not believe that new genetic information is created based on the environment or elapsed time

Can you define "new genetic information"?

Quote:and do not believe that one "kind" of animal (e.g.: dog) can evolve into another "kind" (e.g.: cat).

Why not?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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25-09-2010, 12:16 AM
RE: How do theists explain races?
(24-09-2010 07:15 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  
(24-09-2010 01:53 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  
(23-09-2010 11:14 PM)No J. Wrote:  I knew my guess was way under, but it is drastically more way under than I had thought. I guess a 10.2 billion mile high tower would have been a cinch for the ancient Babalonians to build. After all, god thought they could do it.
I really like this argument ... never thought about it. Why would there be a need to interfere with the Babylonians? Their failure would be a foregone conclusion. Perhaps god was just pissed off because they were trying? Obviously, pissing god off used to be pretty dangerous. Maybe he's mellowing as he ages?

I think that God was not worried that the Tower would reach heaven...it obviously couldn't. What he was worried about was the twisted thinking that they could be as great as or greater than God. The Bible says they wanted to make a name for themselves. They wanted to put themselves "higher" than God in their own minds. If God allowed that to happen, the world today would be mighty different, and in a bad way.

My two cents.

How could that be. The Babalonians would have failed and that would be that. God would have known that, if he was god, and if he didn't know it, why call him god?
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25-09-2010, 07:40 AM
RE: How do theists explain races?
Hey, Unbeliever.

Quote:This happened a while back in the thread, but I remember Ghost saying that race was nothing but a "myth of eugenics" and "bad Darwinism".

I disagree.

True, the differences are superficial. They have no huge impact on our lives. And (singsong voice) deep down we are all the same...

But despite all this, there are racial differences. They almost never matter, they're nothing but superficial, and they certainly don't form a rational basis for racism, but to deny that they exist is the height of stupidity. Asians have a different build than Americans. Whites have a different skin tone from blacks.

They're not important differences, but they are differences nonetheless.

You could have gone back and actually read what I wrote before you disagreed. I never said race was a fiction of eugenics.

Race is 100% transient because it is simply the result of greater or lesser representations of certain genes in different gene pools caused by genetic drift. Any racial category we create can be smashed within a single generation by gene flow. I am proof of that. There is no genetic basis for the idea of race. It is a social construct only. We are incredibly selective about the racial categories we create. Genetic drift led to a larger representation in the Irish gene pool of the gene for red hair. Do we call them a different race? No. They're "whites". There are Africans and Indians with the exact same skin tone. Are they both blacks? No. Many Angolans are so black they're practically blue. Are they a different race? No. They're blacks, but Indians aren't. And what is an Angolan anyway? They are people that happen to fall into a political boundary set up by the Portuguese: who are just as white as the English, despite some superficial differences. Racial classifications are arbitrary and have more to do with politics and mythology than with science.

Saying that these differences are the result of genetic drift is not the height of stupidity, it is factually correct and supported by evidence.

Is there variation among humans? Yes. VARIATION IS THE ENTIRE BASIS OF DARWIN'S THEORY. Do we understand why certain genes have greater representation in one gene pool than they do in another? Yes. It's called genetic drift. Are races hard categories? Not at all. Two parents can rip apart a race in one generation. Do the superficial differences among humans have any taxonomic relevance? None whatsoever. There is one and only one taxonomic nomenclature for humans: Homo sapiens sapiens. Do anthropologists and geneticists agree with the idea of race? No. They denounce it because it is unscientific.

Above all else, the idea of race is shattered by the scientific fact that there is more genetic variation WITHIN races than there is BETWEEN races and moreover, that most genetic variation came about BEFORE the migration out of Africa and before genetic drift created the so-called races.

This is why race is a fiction of science and bad Darwinism. As with the eugenics movement, the idea of variation was seized and used to create arbitrary classifications where none existed. Race was a convenient way for the at-the-time growing nationalist movements to differentiate the people of their nation-state from others. But it is a meaningless concept.

So while race exists as a social construct and allows for convenient if not arbitrary and broad classification of groups, it is scientifically unfounded and has more often than not led to divisiveness, xenophobia and suffering when people have believed it to be fact.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-09-2010, 06:09 AM
 
RE: How do theists explain races?
Something that I have not seen discussed on this thread yet in regards to race is anthropological differences in groups generally classified as "Caucasoid", "mongoloid" and "negroid". While I understand that the use of those terms is mostly outdated now, we still use anthropometry to classify people into broad groups in what we could generally call "races". The following is from a Wikipedia article on forensic use of cranio-facial anthropometry (the measurements of the skull for legal and medical purposes, i.e.: forensic anthropology and facial reconstruction):

Quote:A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of a decedent through various skeletal analyses that produce a "biological profile". One part to a biological profile is a person's racial/ancestral affinity.

Caucasians generally have relatively no prognathism; a relatively small face; a narrow, tear-shaped nasal cavity; a "silled" nasal aperture; tower-shaped nasal bones; a triangular-shaped palate; and an angular and sloping eye orbit shape.

Blacks typically have a broad and round nasal cavity; no dam or nasal sill; Quonset hut-shaped nasal bones; notable facial projection in the jaw and mouth area (prognathism); a rectangular-shaped palate; and a square or rectangular eye orbit shape.

Asians are often characterized by a relatively small prognathism; no nasal sill or dam; an oval-shaped nasal cavity; tent-shaped nasal bones; a horseshoe-shaped palate; and a rounded and non-sloping eye orbit shape.[4]

It is important to note that many of these characteristics only have a higher frequency among particular races and the presence or absence of one or more does not automatically classify an individual into a racial group. Forensic anthropologists utilize the Fordisc program to help in the interpretation of craniofacial measurements in regards to ancestry/race determination

The article can be found here under the heading of Forensic anthropology.

I am curious to know people's thoughts on this since so many claim that race is a figment. While I understand that there may be more genetic diversity within one race or another than previously thought, one cannot dismiss that there are generally recurring physical and facial characteristics brought about by physical and geographical isolation over thousands of years.

One can have a mongoloid cranial structure and dark skin, or a negroid facial structure and light skin. But in both cases, the cranial structure is enough to categorize race, and the things that we as a people normally consider (skin tone, eye color, or cultural bias) go out the window. If I have a Caucasoid bone structure and Caucasoid DNA then I am Caucasoid no matter what my skin tone or ethnicity say. Same for Mongoloid or Negroid.
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27-09-2010, 02:12 AM
 
RE: How do theists explain races?
(25-09-2010 07:40 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:This happened a while back in the thread, but I remember Ghost saying that race was nothing but a "myth of eugenics" and "bad Darwinism".

I disagree.

True, the differences are superficial. They have no huge impact on our lives. And (singsong voice) deep down we are all the same...

But despite all this, there are racial differences. They almost never matter, they're nothing but superficial, and they certainly don't form a rational basis for racism, but to deny that they exist is the height of stupidity. Asians have a different build than Americans. Whites have a different skin tone from blacks.

They're not important differences, but they are differences nonetheless.

... There is no genetic basis for the idea of race. It is a social construct only. We are incredibly selective about the racial categories we create. Genetic drift led to a larger representation in the Irish gene pool of the gene for red hair. Do we call them a different race? No. They're "whites". There are Africans and Indians with the exact same skin tone. Are they both blacks? No. Many Angolans are so black they're practically blue. Are they a different race? No. They're blacks, but Indians aren't. And what is an Angolan anyway? They are people that happen to fall into a political boundary set up by the Portuguese: who are just as white as the English, despite some superficial differences. Racial classifications are arbitrary and have more to do with politics and mythology than with science.

... Is there variation among humans? Yes. VARIATION IS THE ENTIRE BASIS OF DARWIN'S THEORY. Do we understand why certain genes have greater representation in one gene pool than they do in another? Yes. It's called genetic drift. Are races hard categories? Not at all. Two parents can rip apart a race in one generation. Do the superficial differences among humans have any taxonomic relevance? None whatsoever. There is one and only one taxonomic nomenclature for humans: Homo sapiens sapiens. Do anthropologists and geneticists agree with the idea of race? No. They denounce it because it is unscientific.

Above all else, the idea of race is shattered by the scientific fact that there is more genetic variation WITHIN races than there is BETWEEN races and moreover, that most genetic variation came about BEFORE the migration out of Africa and before genetic drift created the so-called races.

This is why race is a fiction of science and bad Darwinism. ...
So while race exists as a social construct and allows for convenient if not arbitrary and broad classification of groups, it is scientifically unfounded and has more often than not led to divisiveness, xenophobia and suffering when people have believed it to be fact.

I agree with Ghost on this one. An earlier post mentioned differences in eye color. For apparently arbitrary reasons, we don't choose to use eye color to identify races. Why would another other minor variation (e.g., skin color, cranial structure, epicanthic fold, etc.) be meaningful, whereas eye color is not?

Yes, differences exist, but modern science has relegated race to the dustbin.
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